Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's Up? Wednesday & Giveaway

I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about encouragement. It seems to be a common theme for me lately. (See a previous post here about being a blessing to others.)

It fills me to the gills when someone gives me warm fuzzies. But it’s not a one-way street. If I want to be encouraged by others, I must be willing to do the same.

In attempting to assess my encouragement skills, I looked up the word “encourage” in Webster’s:

1 to give courage, hope, or confidence to; embolden; hearten 2 to give support to; be favorable to; foster; help
When I measure myself against that definition, I realize I have much work to do to be an effective encourager. I am better at times than others, and I am much better at lifting up those outside my immediate family. Why is that? Why is it that the people whom I love the most in this world receive less from me than I am willing to give others? My biggest prayer is that I improve in this area.

Encouraging is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8), but I believe anyone can become an encourager, especially if they have the Godly desire to do so. God put us on the earth together to be a support for one another. He is surely going to grant us the grace to grow as encouragers if we so ask.

There are many ways I can encourage others. I can speak uplifting words to them. I can send a card or a note. I can hug someone. I can sit next to someone who may be sitting alone.

When I attempt to think of ways to encourage someone, I think of what would lift my spirits personally. And then I try it.

I personally am better at offering the written word than I am the spoken word. When I write, I take time to contemplate what I am going to put forth. For this reason, I like to encourage people with cards and notes.

But it doesn’t need to stop there. I must be alert at all times watching for those who may need just one tiny bit of love from me. I may be the only Jesus they see or hear all day.

How about you? How do you like to encourage others? What lifts your spirits?


I have a set of five personalized notecards I’d love to give away. They will be the same color scheme as the one shown, but of course, I will use the winner’s chosen initial. Simply leave a comment about today’s post with your thoughts on being encouraged by others and encouraging others. You have until Friday, May 8 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. At that time, I will print the comments and draw one from a “hat.” Be sure to include your e-mail address (it won’t be seen online) so I can contact you if you win.

Note: If you have difficulty posting and are forced to post as "Anonymous," please include your first name and last initial in the comment. I am still learning how this works, so I appreciate your patience.

Daily Bible Reading Plan

I Samuel 9-10; Psalm 98; Mark 10:35-52; II Corinthians 3

I’ve enjoyed our time together today!


  1. Encouraging words go a long way. Since today is my birthday, I am really feeling the love! It may be raining outside, but I am filled up with sunshine on the inside!

  2. Happy Birthday, Anonymous :-)
    I work with the public and as you may know, it can be a real challenge to stay upbeat when customers have complaints or just need to "vent" on someone. Sometimes I try to give a compliment, i.e. "I love that sweater!" Or "love that hair-style!" it's a little harder with men though, cuz you don't want to come across as flirting, but I try to find an open door to say something ... maybe about their vehicle or something like that. Sometimes the smallest little compliment will life my spirits, so my hope is that maybe I can help lift someone else's spirits once in a while. Thanks again for your blog! I really love it!! Donna H

  3. Jenny here - I love to receive encouraging words, also, as well as cards and notes. I suppose it's like "love languages." You usually give what you like to receive.

  4. Jenny, I received my cards ... they are beautiful. Thank you so much. You are a wonderful encouragement! Have a great day!


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